Supervisor candidates complete debates; election next Tuesday
November 2, 2005
It was the business of the Lake Tahoe Basin gateway that closed the last of the community forums Wednesday night for four candidates running for the District 5 seat on the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors.
The Meyers Roundtable, a citizen group, set the stage at the Lake Tahoe Environmental Magnet School with questions relative to the western city for South Shore attorney Dennis Crabb, businessman Lou Pierini, mobile notary Stephen Reinhard and health care worker Norma Santiago.
All the candidates reported they had read the Meyers Community Plan, which was adopted in 1993 as a means for the 1850s way station to designate the Highway 50 corridor as a thriving residential, commercial and recreational region. Each shared a slightly different view of how that plan should be handled if he or she is elected on Nov. 8 for the seat vacated by retiring Dave Solaro. Some of their answers were personal. Reinhard noted the distinct neighborhoods he discovered delivering newspapers for the South Tahoe Newspaper Agency. He wants a community center for locals beyond creating amenities for the tourists.
Pierini recalled his most vivid memory in Meyers – putting on chains in a snowstorm. He advocates awnings to “make the most unpleasant experience a positive one.”
Crabb informed the 28 people attending the forum a chain control area is already part of the plan. He also pointed out the importance of improvements such as the proposed bike trail that links Meyers with South Lake Tahoe as where Meyers “needs to go in terms of being the gateway.”
Santiago, who believes Meyers makes a natural gateway to the community, wants its visitor center to stay put because it fits their goals.
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She would like to see more money thrown at the center. The visitor center is not manned, has limited services and is only open part of the year. But in those three summer months, the facility attracts 75,000 people as one in six lakewide visitor centers. In a poll, 70 percent said they’d like to see more restrooms. And 20 percent of them brings dogs.
Pierini suggested commercial enterprise help pick up the tab to make the center more than the government run center is now, while Reinhard wants to expand on its “pit stop” status to make it more educational.
Crabb called the center “inadequate to meet the visitors’ service needs.” He advocated a larger version with a museum and transit connection at the Lake Tahoe Airport.